What is the Youth Ranger Scheme?

The Youth Ranger Scheme is an initiative to offer young people the opportunity to volunteer in conservation, whilst developing confidence and self-esteem through hands-on experiences.  Supported by The Greensand Trust staff, young people will be able to develop new skills, gain work experience, have fun, and achieve a John Muir Award in recognition of their work.

What does it aim to do?

The aims of the Youth Ranger Scheme are:

  • To offer young people the chance to develop confidence through achievement, to contribute positively to the natural environment, and to be socially and environmentally responsible citizens.
  • To give young people access to managed risk in a rich, stimulating environment and allow them to make choices and initiate their own learning and skills development.
  • To provide young people with challenging but achievable goals, requiring a voluntary commitment that inspires personal and social development.

What does it involve?

The Youth Ranger scheme differs from other volunteering and work experience programmes in that it offers a long-term involvement with the participants.  The scheme will last for approximately 6 months, and comprise a mixture of evening sessions and activity days at weekends.  Sessions will be held in all weather.

Approximately half of the sessions will involve practical conservation activities, which could range from planting trees to constructing a bird hide.  The remainder of the sessions will involve opportunities for team work, personal development, and learning new skills, such as leadership, first aid or identifying wildlife.

The scheme will end with an event, planned and organised by the participants, to showcase their achievements.  The participants will also be involved in promoting and publicising their work, and in assisting with planning and managing the projects.

What will the Trust do?

The Youth Ranger sessions will be led by staff experienced in leading practical conservation work with young people, all of whom have enhanced DBS checks and first aid qualifications.  We will ensure that all activities are risk assessed and safe, whilst offering the young people access to managed risk. 

We will provide the participants with appropriate tools, and ensure that they are instructed in safe usage.  We will also provide the personal protective equipment that they require to carry out the tasks asked of them. 

The Trust will provide participants with name tags identifying them as members of the Youth Ranger scheme whilst taking part in tasks, and their own pair of work gloves. 

What do participants need to do?

We recognise that participation in the scheme is a big commitment for a young person, so we ask that all interested people to make sure that they are able to attend as many of the sessions as possible, before signing up to the scheme.

Participants need to have the permission of their parent/ guardian to take part in the session, and to complete the Participant Information Form accurately.

The John Muir Award

The John Muir Award challenges participants to discover a wild place, explore it, do something to conserve it, and share their experiences with others.  By taking part in the Youth Ranger scheme, young people will have the opportunity to work towards achieving an award. There are some short films with more information on the award available to view on YouTube; enter John Muir Trust Video in the search box to find them.